Modernism, Exoticism, Erasure: Jeanne Duval

Duval, like so many others, has been largely erased from history.

Franklin Sirman, “Les Fleurs Duval,” (17 November 1998)

Sweltering Africa and languorous Asia,
A whole far-away world, absent, almost defunct,
Dwells in your depths, aromatic forest!
While other spirits glide on the wings of music,
Mine, O my love! floats upon your perfume.

Charles Baudelaire, from “Head of Hair,” The Flowers of Evil (1856)

Image: Charles Baudelaire, Portrait de Jeanne Duval (1856), Paris, musée du Louvre, D.A.G. (fonds Orsay)

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